Winterhaven, California

Hike along the Buttercup Sand Dunes

Originally added by Jimbo Neesen

View and/or walk the beautiful Buttercup Dunes when traveling on the I-8.

I found these amazing dunes when traveling from Phoenix to San Diego. These are a nice break from the 5+ hour drive. They are very picturesque and nice to walk on. I would advise to avoid the summer as I would imagine it would be uncomfortably hot. 

When you are driving on the I-8 in either direction, you can take the Grey's Well Road exit to explore these dunes. Have fun and be safe, there are ATV's driving around. I heard you can also rent those in nearby towns to drive the dunes as well. 

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Easy Parking


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Overall rating: 

Super fun pit stop

Loved stopping here to break up the drive to San Diego. Sand was really hot so wear shoes not flip flops! We just parked in the first parking lot to the right by the ranger station (the only building there) and you can park there free for 30 minutes which is plenty.

Out of this world

You can park for 30 minutes free at the Buttercup Ranger Station to avoid buying a permit. The dunes are really interesting.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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